Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day, and trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk isn't easy. It's OK, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end.
The winter meetings are over! Everyone living on East Coast time is thrilled that San Diego has emptied itself of non-Padres baseball media, as now they can go to sleep a little earlier and wake up a little later. Or, at least, they can get some breakfast before they see a major trade coming together.
No one is happier than Max Scherzer, though. The free agent right-hander is basically in the same class of ace as Jon Lester, but where Lester was searching for comfort and familiarity in addition to money his great grandchildren can spend, Scherzer hired Scott Boras. Boras is basically a baseball deity who will get his clients what they want/deserve, and what Scherzer wants/deserves is for $200 million to come his way. The Yankees could give Scherzer $200 million, and the Yankees probably should give Scherzer $200 million, but the big question that will plague us until it does or doesn't happen is "will the Yankees give Scherzer $200 million?"
Here's the thing: their rotation has promise, but it has far more risk in it. If the Yankees want a good chance at relevance in 2015 -- and remember, they've missed the playoffs two years in a row already -- they probably need to sign Max Scherzer. They're trying to rebuild the farm system, so a trade for Cole Hamels is likely out. Lester is already gone. They might want to go younger than James Shields, and there will be more competition there anyway since the Giants, Rangers and the Lester-less Red Sox have all met with him already.
The Tigers aren't chasing Scherzer anymore. The Giants might be in on him if they fail to get Shields, but they want another starter soon, and Scherzer might not agree to anything until 2015. The Nationals could end up being a fit, because they want to trade some players they don't think they can extend in Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond -- replacing them with Scherzer and the prospects they bring back would mean a different core, but still a strong one. The Nationals probably can't possess a pair of $200-million plus contracts like the Yankees could, but they can likely manage the one, especially for someone as good as Scherzer.
- If not Scherzer, the Yankees could try to inject some youth into their rotation by going for Brandon Beachy and/or Kris Medlen. The rotation is already a risky mess, so hey, go all-in with that approach.
- The Giants are focused on Shields, and our Giants' expert believes that the Red Sox' interest in Shields will make the chase for him "annoying." He's the best for a reason, folks, and also not wrong, because the Sox are reportedly all about Shields even with the three starters they've acquired in the last day. You can see where that would be annoying.
- While we're on the subject, the Tigers traded Rick Porcello to the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes. Or, if you're more into oceans than lakes, the Red Sox traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Tigers for Rick Porcello. Either way, both teams fortified an area of need, and everyone is happy about it!
- The Twins signed Ervin Santana for four years and $55 million shortly after our Twins' blog wrote about how much of a potential disaster a deal like that would be. Terry Ryan needs to update his RSS feed.
- Everyone made fun of the Marlins for their Wednesday trade for Dee Gordon -- except for one brave soul doing work -- but a day later they acquired Mat Latos for less. You can still make fun of the first trade, but Latos kind of took the fun out of it, huh?
- Hank the Brewers Dog is now SANTA HANK AT A CHRISTMAS DOG PARTY, and if that's not enough to click then there is no hope for you.
- Wade Miley is better than you think, mostly because it's hard to tell how good any non-ace is when they're stuck on the Diamondbacks.
- Here, let's just wrap up all of yesterday's carnage for you and grade it all. We've done the heavy lifting for you, because we care.
- Do you love Taylor Swift? Do you think the Astros will make the playoffs in 2015? This could be a real problem for your calendar.
- The future is great because we can see Mat Latos' wife, Dallas Latos, reacting in real-time to trade rumors and the eventual trade. Not great as in, "Oh this is funny," more as in "Oh so that's what empathy feels like."